Remembering Ruby Bishop, and her weekly sets at Vito's | KNKX

Remembering Ruby Bishop, and her weekly sets at Vito's

Jun 27, 2019

Ruby Bishop has died. 

The Seattle Times reports that she was 99 years old.

Well into her 90s, Bishop played weekly sets at Vito's, an Italian restaurant on Seattle's First Hill. She'd sit at the piano in a corner beneath a disco ball, backed by floor-to-ceiling mirrors.

And she drew a regular crowd, who filled tables, sang along and always tipped. But for first-timers, Bishop's performances were a discovery, and a welcome break from the stress of daily life.

Kit Tierney spoke to KNKX — then KPLU — in 2015 when we were recording a profile of Bishop. Tierney was seated in the bar at Vito's, taking a break after visiting a friend having cancer surgery at a nearby hospital. It was her first time seeing Bishop.

"I'm just wowed by this lady ... it's like magic," Tierney said. "Look how happy she's making these old people. And me too! So, middle age people. ... It's just wonderful."

You can hear our profile of Ruby Bishop, and see a video of her playing, here.